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Flaherty’s HR caps Tampa’s rally past Sox

SHARE Flaherty’s HR caps Tampa’s rally past Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Chicago White Sox let one slip away.

John Flaherty hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to a 5-3 win over the White Sox on Sunday.

"I was probably as focused on that at-bat as I've ever been in my career," Flaherty said. "He made some great pitches to me that whole at-bat and I was just trying to battle. It seemed like my confidence level was rising as the at-bat went and I finally got a good pitch to hit."

With one out in the ninth, Kelly Wunsch walked Jose Guillen. After pinch-runner Jason Tyner stole second on a pitch-out, Bob Howry (2-3) walked pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo.

Flaherty, who also had an RBI single in the seventh, worked the count full in a 12-pitch at-bat. He then hit his seventh homer of the season for the game-winner.

"It was a fastball, I tried to throw it away," said Howry, who blew his sixth save opportunity in 11 chances. "It started out there, but it just ran back over right down and in where he likes it. You try and locate a pitch somewhere that he can't hit it hard. I definitely didn't do that because he hit it pretty well."

Manager Jerry Manuel said Keith Foulke, who has 21 saves in 25 opportunities, was not available after saving the first two games of the series.

Albie Lopez (10-8) allowed three runs and five hits in his second consecutive complete game and fourth of the season.

"I was just throwing strikes ... that's it," Lopez said. "That's basically what I've been doing all year."

Lopez is just the second Tampa Bay pitcher — joining Rolando Arrojo with 14 wins in 1998 — to reach double-digit victories in a season. Lopez is 8-4 since joining the rotation on May 28.

"You can't pitch any better than he's pitched since he's been starting," Devil Rays manager Larry Rothschild said.

ROYALS 10, ORIOLES 5: At Kansas City, Mo., Mike Sweeney homered to reach 100 RBIs earlier than any Kansas City player ever and Mac Suzuki (6-7) won at home for the first time.

Sweeney singled home a run and then hit his 19th homer in the eighth inning, giving him 100 RBIs for the second straight season. Sweeney reached the mark earlier than Hal McRae, who drove in his 100th run on Aug. 16, 1982.

Chris Richard hit two home runs for Baltimore and Brook Fordyce also connected.

BLUE JAYS 13, TWINS 3: At Minneapolis, Alex Gonzalez homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and Tony Batista had four of Toronto's season-high 20 hits.

Carlos Delgado hit his 34th homer and Brad Fullmer also went deep as Toronto raised its league leading home run total to 193.

Dave Martinez, Darrin Fletcher and Jose Cruz added three hits apiece as the Blue Jays salvaged the finale of a three-game series.

INDIANS 10, MARINERS 4: At Seattle, Travis Fryman homered, doubled and drove in four runs and Cleveland took advantage of Seattle's sloppy fielding to pull into a tie with Oakland for the AL wild-card spot.

The Mariners made four errors in a game for the first time since June 8, 1998. They began the day with a .986 fielding percentage, second only to Cleveland (.987) in the American League.

TIGERS 5, ATHLETICS 3: At Oakland, Calif., Juan Encarnacion returned to the Tigers lineup and hit a three-run homer off Barry Zito (1-1) as Detroit handed Oakland its seventh loss in eight games.

Brian Moehler (9-7), coming off a complete-game victory over Baltimore on Tuesday, allowed three runs on seven hits over seven innings. It was his third straight victory.

Todd Jones came in with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning and went on to earn his AL-leading 33rd save.